Surgeons from Hiroshima University Hospital, Japan, recently announced that they will be able to grow a variety of stem cells injected into the body with the help of iron. Yes, iron!
The main challenge with stem cell therapy is that we do not know whether all the stem cells injected into a particular area actually reaches its target area or migrates elsewhere in the body. Unspecified migration is quite dangerous as we have no idea what these cells would do in the human body. Hence, targeted stem cell therapy is the need of the hour and Japanese scientists seem to have found an answer to it.
Dr. Mitsuo Ochi and a team of Japanese surgeons from the hospital, injected iron powder–containing stem cells into the knee of a 18-year-old high school girl. They extracted mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow of the patient and cultivated them with iron powder. These iron powder-containing stem cells were then concentrated using a magnet around the damaged cartilage.
This technique is a first-of-its-kind in the world. The main advantage of this surgery was that it was endoscopic. This meant it was least invasive compared to the conventional treatment which needs two surgeries to repair the damaged cartilage. The team injected the stem cells into the patient’s right knee joint and used the magnet to concentrate them at a point where cartilage has been lost. These cells are expected to develop into cartilage.
It will take at least a year to determine the effectiveness of the regenerative surgery on the patient, although previous animal tests have been successful, the team said. The team plans to conduct further operations to reaffirm the regenerative surgery’s safety in clinical research.
This article is based on materials provided by: